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Scribblings: From Assad to Assad Categories: Middle East, Palestinians, Syria     Author: Tzvi Fleischer

British journalist and author Malise Ruthven has written an article for the New York Review of Books, later re-published in the Australian Financial Review (June 17), examining the history of Syria in the wake of the recent unrest, and especially the domination of the country by the minority Alawite

Editorial: The Perils of Unilateralism Categories: International Security, Israel, Palestinians     Author: Colin Rubenstein

This September, the Palestinian Authority (PA) intends to go to the United Nations to seek support for a unilateral declaration of a sovereign Palestinian state - a move that will intensify rather than end the conflict, setting the entire peace process back by years if not decades. Having shunned r

UN call will not end this crisis

UN call will not end this crisis Categories: Op-eds, Palestinians, United Nations     Author: Sharyn Mittelman

The Palestinian Authority is busily lobbying European nations to support a unilateral declaration of a Palestinian state by the United Nations this September. The reconciliation between Hamas and Fatah appears to be targeted towards the same end. As such, it is worth considering what the outcome of

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Palestinians will go to the UN no matter what

Palestinians will go to the UN no matter what Categories: Israel, Palestinians, Updates     Author: Daniel Meyerowitz-Katz

Palestinian UN envoy Riyad Mansour has just come out and stated that even if negotiations with Israel were to recommence, the Palestinians will go to the UN and ask for recognition of statehood. Haaretz reports: The Palestinians will seek membership as an independent state at the UN in Septemb

What do the Palestinians want? Categories: Palestinians, Updates     Author: Or Avi-Guy

Even a quick look at various Palestinian officials' statements over the past few weeks can reveal an inconsistent and somewhat confusing picture of the Palestinian Authority's (PA) official policy regarding the alternatives of negotiations with Israel and their plans to try to get UN recognition of

Gaza flotilla blind to Hamas

Gaza flotilla blind to Hamas Categories: Australasia, Israel, Op-eds, Palestinians, Turkey     Author: Arsen Ostrovsky

NEXT week a flotilla carrying so-called activists from various countries under the guise of "humanitarian concern" will set sail for the Gaza Strip, determined to break what they call "the siege of Gaza". Four Australians, including former Greens MLC Sylvia Hale, will be aboard. This latest anti-Is

Calls for release of Israeli soldier after 5 years of captivity

Calls for release of Israeli soldier after 5 years of captivity Categories: International Jewry, Islamic Extremism, Israel, Palestinians, United States, Updates     Author: Daniel Meyerowitz-Katz

Tomorrow will mark 5 years since kidnapped Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit has been held illegally by Hamas in Gaza. As Isabel Kershner has reported in the New York Times, Hamas has again refused a request from the Red Cross to visit Shalit - so that they could merely ascertain what kind of conditions

Increased imports further undermine flotilla facade

Increased imports further undermine flotilla facade Categories: Israel, Palestinians, Updates     Author: Daniel Meyerowitz-Katz

Amid increased tensions surrounding the impending UN vote on Palestinian statehood and the new unity deal between Hamas and rival Fatah, Israel has been quietly easing its blockade on Gaza - which is in place in order to prevent Hamas militants from smuggling in weapons with which to attack Israel.

Palestinian UNilateralism revisited Categories: Israel, Palestinians, Updates    

This Update features three notable pieces on the Palestinian efforts to have the UN recognise a Palestinian state in "the '67 lines" in September, without negotiations or compromise with Israel. First up is noted American Middle East expert Prof. Fouad Ajami, who strongly argues that

Netanyahu Versus Abbas

Netanyahu Versus Abbas Categories: Israel, Palestinians     Author: Barry Rubin

Even in the year 2011 - as happened in the year 1948 - even a relative moderate like Abbas simply cannot bring himself to say in Arabic: "Let's share this land in a two-state solution." Ironically, Netanyahu is taking a liberal and flexible position while Abbas is taking a reactionary, imperialisti

The Perils of PA-Hamas Reconciliation Categories: Israel, Palestinians     Author: David Makovsky

Although PA officials have indicated that security cooperation with Israel will continue, it is difficult to imagine how the Palestinian power-sharing arrangement will not hinder that partnership - Hamas has long called for Israel's destruction and most of the Israeli-PA security efforts have been b

A Weighty Week in Washington

A Weighty Week in Washington Categories: Israel, Middle East, Palestinians, United States     Author: Amotz Asa-El

Israel has learned in recent weeks that despite the social upheaval and political turbulence across the Middle East, Washington continues to focus on delivering an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal. This is what President Barack Obama made plain to Netanyahu during a meeting May 20 after which the two

Editorial: The Indispensable Alliance Categories: Israel, Palestinians, United States     Author: Colin Rubenstein

Following a week of dramatic speeches and meetings in Washington featuring US President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, two conclusions have emerged. On the positive side, the United States and Israel alliance, though not always perfect, is strong and enduring. Worryingly

Where is the compromise, Mr Abbas?

Where is the compromise, Mr Abbas? Categories: Israel, Op-eds, Palestinians     Author: Arsen Ostrovsky

On May 24, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made a historic address to a joint meeting of the US Congress, saying he was willing to "make painful compromises", including relinquishing "parts of the ancestral Jewish homeland", in pursuit of peace with the Palestinians. Netanyahu acknowledge

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